Joseph Spafford to Marianne Spafford

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Camp at Union Mills Va. Apr. 27th 1863Dear Sister,

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I reckon you will begin to think I’m writting pretty often. Every day now for the last three or four days; but to night I have buisness, which is the reason of of my writting. I got a Paymaster’s check (like the one I sent before) & thought I would mail it & have it out of the way or I might lose it having it carrying it around in my pocket. I recd $426. all told, & send a check for $350. payable to fathers order. I suppose he can use it somewhere. This brings our pay up to March 1st 1863, so you see that when we come home (July 23d, guess thats bound to be so) we shall have nearly five months pay due us. We shall not probarbly receive any of it until we get back to Brattleboro, as at longest, the time is less than three mos. now. Our Co. took checks of the Paymaster to day to the amt of $3,600.

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I am to go into Washington now for there are a number of things its quite necessary for me to have, but at present its almost impossible to get a pass; there are so many applications, few are granted. A vest, I must have, as mines done ruined entirely. If it was’nt for the fact that in this benighted land a fellow cant get washing & ironing done, I should get a buff vest, they are very pretty with a military suit. As it is I shall get a dark blue one, like my coat, with buttons like the ones on your Zouaves jacket (only larger, some) about 20 on a vest, such are very pretty I think, & worn considerable.

Our Regt is a little broken up just at present, 3 Co’s (F. G. & H.) being out on the R.R. between here & Warrenton, for four days, & about as many more on picket, for 24 hours. I think before long some of our Regt will be sent down on the R.R. to encamp. I think that would be the best way. I wish they would send ours, for all the way from Manassas Junction to Warrenton it is one of the most beautiful country I ever saw. I noticed when we went out, a man ploughing

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about a mile from the R.R. near Warrenton, & in a field near by, a large flock of sheep; it looked quite like civilization again. Some how he had managed to stick to his place in the midst of the war. I think he must have been astonished to see the long train of cars coming up the road that day, covered all over with blue soldiers, after so many months of quiet.

The weather at the present time is very fine, our long rain entirely done with & warm pleasant days & beautiful moonlight nights are the order of the day now.

I sent you a specimen of script before it is cut up in my yesterdays letter, fives & tens. I will put some 50’s into this.

I wonder if “Ned” corresponds with Charley now or has he droped it because he cant “shame the Devil” by it? He is a little fellow that looks very much like Ed Brown, that once worked for uncle Charles – prehaps you remember of seeing him in Springfield.

I will close for to night. Write immediately on receiving this so I may know its all right.

Love to all. Your Aff. BrotherJoseph Spafford.